Kitchen Appliances of the 1960s
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The 1960s was the decade of liberation for many women. With the introduction of new time-saving appliances they could enter the workforce and still prepare the family meals and clean the laundry.
In order for consumers to purchase appliances more frequently, manufacturers often introduced new technology and produced appliances made of lesser quality. Consumers began to just replace an old appliance with a new one rather than repair the broken machine.
Refrigerators had been around since the 1920s, but by the 60s they were improved with new technology such as a frost-free freezer compartment. Most refrigerators of the decade had the freezer compartment below the refrigerator, a trend that is gaining popularity again today. Some models had a built-in ice maker so ice would always be ready without prying cubes out of the trays. Shelves were made to swing out for easy access to all of the contents.
Oven and Hob
Kitchens of the 1960s often had ovens built into a wall or cabinetry and hobs built into the counter. A new innovation was the range wall unit, a self-contained appliance that had a slide out hob and glass door oven compartments above. These were advertised as convenient and easy to use. Hobs and ovens were available in both electric and gas models to suit the needs of any kitchen.
Dishwashers were a new addition to many kitchens in the 1960s. Many kitchens at the time were not designed with a place in the cabinetry for one, so portable dishwashers were available in addition to the built-in style. The portable machines could be attached to the faucet water supply when in use and moved out of the room when finished.
Washer and Dryer
Washing machines and dryers saved homemakers a lot of time. Developed in the early 20th century, the electric machines of the 1960s were able to clean and dry clothes in less time and with fewer wrinkles than before. Many machines had larger capacity, which meant fewer loads and even more time saved. Some models were equipped with new push-button controls rather than the traditional dials.
The aesthetics of appliances became more pleasing during the 1960s. Homeowners could select from a range of colours from butter yellow to sky blue, brown or stainless steel. Some appliances included removable front panels that could be changed to match the decor of the room. Attractive appliances made women feel that housework was a more pleasurable experience.